Tools and Resources to Help Facts Keep Pace with Fake News

May 22017

When fake news moves fast, you need the right tools and resources to help the truth keep pace.

To inspire you to enter TruthBuzz: The viral fact-checking contest, we have collected some useful tools, along with resources that shed light on fake and misleading news and information, and how it spreads online.

During our recent TruthBuzz webinar, my fellow contest judges, Aimee Rinehart, Shaheryar Popalzai and I shared several resources and tools that could be useful in helping you craft your TruthBuzz entry. We’ve also rounded those up here:

  • First Draft is producing a “Field Guide to Fake News,” including guides to help you understand how information spreads on social media. You can download sample content from the upcoming guide.

  • Vox shared these useful lessons from the health care community’s long battle with misinformation.

  • During the TruthBuzz webinar, Popalzai mentioned PowToon, a free program you can use to create animations.

  • Rinehart demonstrated free tools developed by the Knight Lab like Timeline JS and StoryMap JS, that can help you turn complicated stories into compelling visualizations while still conveying a lot of facts.

  • The TruthBuzz judges said Twitter can be a powerful medium to reach people, citing ProPublica’s use of a Tweetstorm to conduct fact-checking with a twist. Check out these tools so you can start experimenting with your own Tweetstorms: WriteRack and Stormy.

  • Rinehart also mentioned that there are many examples of visualizations, illustrations and short videos that effectively tackle even complicated and weighty topics like the conflict in Syria while maintaining those key elements of surprise and authority. Check out this Vox video on the Syria crisis that impressed the judges by distilling the complicated conflict into easily understandable terms (without sacrificing content). (Here’s why Vox thinks it works so well.)

  • Need help improving your audio skills? Rinehart recommends finding ideas and resources at Transom.

You can watch the full webinar here. The deadline to enter TruthBuzz is June 30. For more contest updates and to apply, please visit TruthBuzz: The Viral Fact Checking Contest page on Medium.